Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Speaking of Burrowes, I just read "The Captive" and it was quite an interesting story of a guy captured in the Napoleonic Wars, tortured for months, and then finally is freed and returns home. During his captivity, his wife and son die and his little daughter becomes mute. At home, he encounters his deceased wife's cousin who is now widowed and the rest of the story should be read.

There are some very interesting comparisons between a prisoner of war and his torture and a woman trapped in a marriage with a cruel and vicious husband. It is definitely not an easy story to read, but the relationship that develops is really quite beautiful.

Along with 6 above books, the following two were added to the Books list and to the "Read submit form".
Grace BurrowesCaptive Hearts (Burrowes) series1The Captive
Grace BurrowesCaptive Hearts (Burrowes) series2The Traitor
Other Language names may not be up to date in the form. It will synch up in few days.
 

Cleo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Motivated by what was said in the latest C’s session about this project, I finally returned to the second book in Anne Gracie’s Devil Rider series, “His Captive Lady." I’ve since finished reading it. Prior to this I'd only read historical romance like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Jane Eyre."

I found the two main characters in the first book, "The Stolen Princess" annoying at times..maybe they are suppose to be annoying? This changed though as I learned more about their history and trials in life. I started to understand more so where they were coming from..why Callie was so stubborn for example and Gabe so grabby.
Reading this book made me think I might also be quick to judge.

There were a few heartwarming moments in "His Captive Lady" that had me in tears..mostly happy tears (not to give too much away but it had to do with those reunited at the end). This book I liked quite a bit more than the first.
I like that it is a series and that some of the characters in the first book go on to meet characters in the next. My sense is that they grow all the more stronger for it.
Looking forward to reading the next book in the series, "To Catch a Bride." This book actually just arrived in the mail today:read:Thank you by the way to others here for sharing..I've been reading this thread off and on since it started, glad to finally chime in.
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de me commander :
I just ordered myself :

Lorraine Heath – L’affront​
Lorraine Heath – Le pardon​
Lorraine Heath – La dette​
Marry Balogh – Le bel été de Lauren​
Caroline Linden - Le prince charmant existerait-il​
Caroline Linden – Le pari du Péché​
Caroline Linden – Sur la route de Maryfield​
Grace Burrowes – Le Captif​
Grace Burrowes – Le Traitre​
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
SEEK, il faudrait rajouter les titres en Français Grace Burrowes lignes 79 et 80...
Merci d'avance et merci encore pour ton magnifique travail qui nous simplifie beaucoup la vie...

SEEK, we should add the titles in French Grace Burrowes 79 and 80...
Thank you in advance and thank you again for your wonderful work which makes our life much easier...
 

Mari

Jedi Council Member
For those who plan to read Bridgertons; there is a book at the end of the series „Happily ever after“ which is basically a collection of 2nd Epilogues from all previous books.
If you buy Kindle books, you already get every 2nd epilogue with every book, so only extra novel is a Violet story and the book costs 8€ which is then pricey for a less than a 1h novella (normaly books cost round 5€).
So, a small hands up....
 

Seamus

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I just added the books I've read to the reading project spreadsheet, thanks for putting that together @seek10 ! Its really fun to see how many people are engaged with this project and how many books there are to look forward to.

I just finished Balogh's Web series about the Raine family. Y'all weren't kidding about The Devil's Web! Madeline and James's inner dialog was so painful to read, but as far as mirrors go I think it is a gentle approach.

In the last few days I've found myself reviewing the series and some of the lessons I gleaned from it and as others have written memories began coming to me from my own past. The way James's character was trapped in the past by the heavy burden of guilt he was carrying and constantly reinforcing, all based on a false narrative, that really resonated with me. I have been mentally reviewing my life and recalling events that I felt guilty about and even still feel guilty about and trying to look at them in a new way by questioning my assumptions about the other person or people involved, my relationship with them and my role in the relationship or event. Sometimes I find that what I did was even worse than I realized, but I feel more space to learn something from it and move on. With other memories I have realized that maybe the other person wasn't an innocent victim and maybe I wasn't such a terrible villain.

I have also been thinking about this in terms of the energetic effects of "carrying" guilt, anger, sadness, self loathing, and other negative and selfish emotions. I've been relating it to what G says in In Search of the Miraculous about how our human machines waste the majority of our energy on negative emotions and associated muscle tension. I see this every day in my acupuncture practice and I am convinced that so many people develop aches and pains in their bodies as a result of the negative emotions that they literally carry around with them.

Next up I'm switching back to Anne Gracie and read the Merridew series. Personally I found her writing to be more captivating and emotionally engaging than Balogh's books and I'm looking forward to getting to know a whole new set of characters.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
SEEK, il faudrait rajouter les titres en Français Grace Burrowes lignes 79 et 80...
Merci d'avance et merci encore pour ton magnifique travail qui nous simplifie beaucoup la vie...

SEEK, we should add the titles in French Grace Burrowes 79 and 80...
Thank you in advance and thank you again for your wonderful work which makes our life much easier...
Can you submit this form for french titles. Use the BookID's in the screen shot. It will automatically update the sheet.

1617448342218.png
I can update it, but you can too . As "Americans" love to say "If I can do it, any body can".;-)
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Désolée SEEK, je ne comprends pas
La ligne 79 et 80 correspondent bien à 195 et 196
Il m'est impossible de rentrer les titres en Français, j'avais déjà essayé ce matin
Et sur : Romance Books Reading Project
Les titres en Français ne sont pas spécifiés non plus...
Je ne rentrerai les livres achetés que lorsque je les aurai reçus...

Sorry SEEK, I don't understand
The line 79 and 80 correspond well to 195 and 196
It is impossible for me to enter the titles in French, I had already tried this morning
And on: Romance Books Reading Project
The titles in French are not specified either...
I will enter the books I bought only when I receive them...
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de terminer "Passion d'une nuit d'été" d'Eloisa James
Une belle histoire d'un homme buté et d'une femme heureusement très amoureuse...
Je suis un peu étonnée que les hommes de ces romans à cette époque "touchaient" aussi facilement les femmes...
Je commence "Le Frisson dans la nuit" du même auteur.

I just finished "A Midsummer Night's Passion" by Eloisa James.
A beautiful story of a stubborn man and a woman happily very much in love...
I am a little surprised that the men in these novels at that time "touched" women so easily...
I'm starting "The Chill in the Night" by the same author.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Désolée SEEK, je ne comprends pas
La ligne 79 et 80 correspondent bien à 195 et 196
Il m'est impossible de rentrer les titres en Français, j'avais déjà essayé ce matin
Et sur : Romance Books Reading Project
Les titres en Français ne sont pas spécifiés non plus...
Je ne rentrerai les livres achetés que lorsque je les aurai reçus...

Sorry SEEK, I don't understand
The line 79 and 80 correspond well to 195 and 196
It is impossible for me to enter the titles in French, I had already tried this morning
And on: Romance Books Reading Project
The titles in French are not specified either...
I will enter the books I bought only when I receive them...
There is a minor code issue in Translation submission form. Due to that, some translated names were not updated. Now it is fixed and all submitted Translated names are updated into the sheet.
 

A Jay

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Having read 35 of the recommended books, I've read about "going to Gunther's for ices" a number of times and tonight I decided to indulge my curiosity a bit and see what exactly was Gunther's and what sort of "ices" would have been available.

Unsurprisingly, Gunther's Tea Shop was a real place in Berkley Sqaure in Wayfair that started to become a favorite among the Beau Monde around the end of the 18 century. Here's an interesting bit about the place from one site I found:

The ton flocked to Gunter’s to enjoy his ices and sorbets. The practice of eating the confections outside in the Square itself developed. Since the customers were served in the Square, waiters were obliged to dodge across the road taking and carrying their orders. Gunter’s Tea Shop was the only establishment where a lady could be seen eating alone with a gentleman who was not a relative without harming her reputation. The ladies would remain seated in the carriages in the shade of the Maples. Their gentlemen escorts would step down from their equipages and come round to the passenger side of the curricle or barouche and lean against the Square’s railings sharing the lady’s company and the treat.

More about the shop, the owners, the methods and practices of the time, and so forth can be found here if you're interested.

Getting into what they actually served, in the books I've read they refer to going for ices and leave it at that with no other descriptions. Thus left to my own imaginings I imagined it being something like shaved ice with a flavored syrup poured over it. Basically a snowcone. Fortunately for our characters, however, what was likely actually served at the time was much more exciting than my humble snowcone idea.

Now I couldn't find anything like a menu from Gunther's at the time, but the following quote is from another site that goes into detail about what would have been available in the mid to late 18th century. I imagine some of these things would've fallen out of fashion by the time our characters would've been going to Gunther's, but it's good to get idea as to what might've still been on the menu:

A dessert… was not complete without a good variety of ices, the most fashionable of all sweet dishes of the period…Liqueurs glacées, rather like granita in texture, were the oldest and most primitive and were at this period giving way to the more sophisticated neiges, fromages glacés and mousses. Neiges were rather like our modern ices, though often sweeter, and were spooned directly from the cooler (seau à glaces) into the little serving cups (tasses à glaces). These are represented on the right-hand console by the soft green neige de pistachio, the bright pink glace de épine-vinette (barberry) and the creamy glace au pain de seigle (rye bread), the precursor of the brown bread ice so popular today. Various flavours were frozen in pewter and lead moulds to create novely ices in the form of fruits (fruits glacés), vegetables, cuts of meat and even animals. Fake biscuits and canelons moulded in ice cream were also very popular at this period. Powder colours were usually painted onto the inside of the moulds before the ice cream mixture was spooned in. We have used surviving pewter moulds of this type to create the replica fruits glacés on the left-hand console, which include a melon, pears, apples, apricots and pineapples. The asparagus ices are made from a mould identical to one illustrated in Gillier’s Cannameliste of 1750. The craze for these shaped ices survived well into the twentieth century, until concern with a possible threat to health from the lead in the moulds made them unfashionable. Fromages glacés were rich custard ices frozen in moulds in the shape of cheeses. Mousses were lightly frozen creams, popular flavours being vanilla, saffron and ambergris.

Don't know about y'all, but what stood out to me in that list as being particularly bizarre was the ambergris and cheese flavors of ice creams and the meat shaped moulds. My how things change, thank heavens. :lol:

For those who'd like help with creating mental images, here's two pictures of what is described above with moulds and what is likely being referred to as "ices" in the books:

ice-group-3_ivan-day.gif

Nutt-Ices2.jpg


Hope y'all found this as interesting as I did and hope it helps give more context for Gunther's and more food for the imagination. Happy reading!
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I finally read a physical book, instead of listening to the audiobook. It was The Stolen Princess, book 1 of Anne Gracie's Devil Riders series. If you liked Marriage of Convenience or Merridew Sisters, I think you're going to like this one too. It felt like a recombination of characters from those other series, plus a surprising cameo. The humor is there, and for action lovers, you'll get fights, chases, guns, swords, and other unspecified mayhem as to not give away the story.

I'm not sure if reading is better than listening for me. I'll see if I have an opinion on that when I'm done with the series.

I found the two main characters in the first book, "The Stolen Princess" annoying at times..maybe they are suppose to be annoying? This changed though as I learned more about their history and trials in life. I started to understand more so where they were coming from..why Callie was so stubborn for example and Gabe so grabby.
I thought they were funny, like Pru and Sebastian, and enjoyed them very much.
 

AndrewMn

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Начало положено! Не мог больше пропускать мимо такой важный проект и я с вами! Первый роман прочитан! Поскольку мне хотелось бы поделиться своими эмоциями с вами , но я опасаюсь, что автоматический перевод не совсем корректно передаст смысл - я оставлю пост на русском языке в том числе.

Начал я свое знакомство с проектом с произведения Анны Грейс - Украденная принцесса. Выбор был совершенно случайный, просто эти романы были на русском языке в моей "читалке".

Начинал я знакомство с романом с уверенностью, что поскольку я мужчина, то вряд ли что-то может меня сильно "зацепить" . Всё-таки я был в плену предубеждений и некоторых "клише" . А предупреждение о том, что в романе есть сцены 18+ заставляло меня думать что ряд страниц всё-таки я пропущу и не смогу прочесть :)

В процессе чтения - где -то до середины я находил и отмечал для себя те моменты, которые действительно могли затронуть кого-то. В данном случае - "затронуть" - это вызвать сильные эмоции, заставить задуматься, переживать. Т.е. то, ради чего мы и знакомимся с этими романами. Но, как я писал выше, до середины романа переживания героев , честно говоря, не сильно меня взволновали. Я уже начал думать что делаю что-то не так, и... "словил" те самые моменты.

Я был очень удивлён сам себе и своей реакции. Вот уж действительно - работа по самопознанию творит чудеса.

Безусловно, строгость Руперта по отношению к сыну вызывает сочувствие, как и переживания и страх матери за своего ребенка. Но затронул меня не конкретный момент, а скорее некоторый факт - то, как придавала сил и уверенности Калли тиана её матери, которая хоть и была с фальшивыми бриллиантами, но помогала её преодолеть страх, неуверенность, придавала каким-то образом сил. Я даже вспомнил о нашем проекте с кристаллами. Ведь теперь для многих из нас они как-то символизируют защиту и придают сил и уверенности в сложный момент.

Я совсем не являюсь ценителем вещей в жизни, не особо люблю красиво одеваться и красивые или дорогие авто или часы не вызывают у меня ровным счетом никаких эмоций или желаний. Но вот некоторые семейные вещи (например навесной замок дедушки, или папина коллекция открыток, которую он собрал будучи ребёнком) действительно дороги для меня.

Я немного глупо себя ощущаю, так как в романе столько моментов, которые должны были меня затронуть сильнее. Но не хочется обманывать себя. Наверное я еще познакомлюсь при чтении и с другими моментами, которые также затронут иначе.

Ну и конечно, очень порадовал именно счастливый конец романа. Красивая история.

---------------------------

A start! I could no longer miss such an important project and I am with you! The first novel has been read! Since I would like to share my emotions with you, but I am afraid that the automatic translation will not convey the meaning quite correctly - I will leave a post in Russian as well.

I began my acquaintance with the project with the work of Anna Grace - The Stolen Princess. The choice was completely random, just these novels were in Russian in my "reading room".

I started my acquaintance with the novel with the certainty that since I am a man, it is unlikely that something can "hook" me strongly. After all, I was captivated by prejudices and some "clichés". And the warning that the novel contains 18+ scenes made me think that I would skip a number of pages and would not be able to read it :-)

In the process of reading - somewhere in the middle, I found and noted for myself those moments that could really affect someone. In this case, “to touch” is to evoke strong emotions, make you think, worry. Those. that is why we are getting acquainted with these novels. But, as I wrote above, until the middle of the novel, the experiences of the heroes, frankly, did not really excite me. I already began to think that I was doing something wrong, and ... I "caught" those very moments.

I was very surprised at myself and my reaction. Indeed, the work of self-knowledge works wonders.

Of course, Rupert's severity towards her son evokes sympathy, as well as the feelings and fear of a mother for her child. But it was not a specific moment that touched me, but rather a certain fact - how Calli Tiana gave strength and confidence to her mother, who, although she was with fake diamonds, helped her overcome her fear, insecurity, and somehow gave her strength. I even remembered our project with crystals. Indeed, now for many of us they somehow symbolize protection and give strength and confidence in a difficult moment.

I am not at all a connoisseur of things in life, I do not particularly like to dress beautifully and beautiful or expensive cars or watches do not evoke any emotions or desires in me. But some family things (like grandfather's padlock, or dad's collection of postcards that he collected as a child) are really dear to me.

I feel a little silly, because there are so many moments in the novel that should have touched me more. But I don't want to deceive myself. Probably, while reading, I will also get acquainted with other points that will also be touched upon differently.

And of course, it was the happy ending of the novel that made me very happy. A beautiful story.
 

aragorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I just finished 'The Arrangement' which is number 2 in Balogh's 'Survivor's Club' series. As I was somewhere around 90% through the book I was sure there wasn't going to be much to report. It was a good and well written story – that's all, I thought. However, to my surprise, while I read the last 10% of the book a build up of wanting to cry started. And as I reached the final few pages with the happy ending I would surely have bursted out crying if it weren't for our kids sitting next by (I held the tears back but 'cried inside'). Maybe I should have cried openly but I was afraid they might be unecessarily troubled by seeing their father suddenly crying.

I think what made me want to cry was, first of all, some sort of joy and relief that there, for once, was a happy ending. The two of them really did love each other. I wanted to cry for happiness for the two main characters. However, I suspect that that's only the tip of the ice berg of the reasons the end made me feel the way it did. Deep down I could feel remnants of my own grave disappointments with someone not loving you – a couple of 'crushes' in the youth, and also my father who never showed any affection towards me.

Amazing stuff, I'm so glad I finally started this! :flowers:
 

Tauriel

Jedi Master
Not so much new insights from my side but I started Julia Quinn's Smythe-Smith series with 'Just like Heaven' and currently reading 'A Night like this'. And as I hoped the books are much lighter and adoringly funny.
Especially 'A Night like this" is a real hoot. I haven't laughed so much in some time.
Maybe it's the depiction of unburdened youth in the form of the hero's 3 young cousins.
So I recommend the series for anybody in need of some brightening up.
 
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